Thursday, March 3, 2011

Another One Bites The Dust ©

The more I walk through this journey the more I am stunned at how much wrong I have believed. The God I have known is not the God I now know. So many things were distorted through the years. I don't blame the people who taught me. I see it for what it is. The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I have been realizing just how deceived I have been. Good news is God is exposing them all. One more bit the dust this week.

When I heard my friend John say the words I knew someplace deep that something had been powerfully distorted in my mind. "Faith is never the grounds for salvation, never a meritorious work in your behavior." "Your believing, while an essential response, proves only that His grace was extended to you."

"It is by grace you have been saved, yet it is not of yourselves; it is the gift of God."

For years I believed that I had invited God into my life. I had prayed the prayer asking Him to come in. We sang the song, "Into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart, Lord Jesus." I literally believed that somehow Jesus entered my heart because of my choosing of Him. I didn't realize that I had it backwards. He didn't enter into me. I entered into Him.

I didn't choose Him. He chose me. It was His grace that was shown to me inviting me to receive His eternal gift. It's not just the gift of heaven. It's not even about forgiveness of my sins.

The invitation of God woos me to respond to a love that has been and always will be. It's a love that offers me to come as I am and be known for who I was made to be. It restores all that was broken, reconciling me to Him completely.

Somehow things got all mixed up.

I've used the term too many times to count.. "I need to get that from my head into my heart." As I type the words I see the disparity in them. If I truly embrace the gift of this God I love why do I struggle between two worlds of head and heart?

God gives His gifts for free. He expects nothing in return. He's just plain crazy about me. After all He made me to love.

As I have seen my justification, so I have seen my sanctification. The same way I believed I had my part in being made right with God, I have believed I have my role in being transformed. I've spent the better part of my life running around trying to make myself worthy, acceptable, lovable. All the while all He wanted for me was that I would receive the gift so freely given.

If Jesus paid it all then how can I owe Him anything? What could I ever do that would be enough? In some strange, warped way I believed that I owed Him my life.

I believed I played my part in salvation therefore I must play my part in cleaning myself up. I see how subtlety the lies wove their way into the fabric of my walk. I see how naturally I became the one who would work hard to make who she was better.

It is by grace I have been saved. It is a gift from God so that no man can boast. Without receiving I will do nothing but strive and try to prove myself worthy. I will need to "one-up" others around me. I will have to do more and be better.

In that one moment when I took His outstretched hand offered He joined me to Him. He called me righteous. He announced I was holy. He wiped out all my sins, past, present and future. Everything that had been broken was made new. I was totally and completely reconciled to God on no part of my own. It's astounding to consider.

Awakenings come frequently now. This beautiful thing that I have walked into is absolutely and totally His. Transformation is taking ahold of my life.

It is by grace I am saved. It is by grace I am changed... Grace - charis, a gift which is freely given. The extravagant love of my God not only has reconciled me to Him. He wants nothing from me but that I would let Him love me. Another lie bites the dust as this beautiful Spirit inside reveals the truth that sets me free. Freely He gives, freely I receive.
©copyrighted: 2011; Julie L. Todd

12 comments:

Rebekah Grace said... Reply to comment

Julie,

It is so astounding to consider and sounds too good to be true, so many stay in deception, because it's easier. Somehow. But only for a time. And when the truth enters, His love and grace show us things that will change us. Forever. I LOVE THAT!

Good writing today! Thanks!

Cindy said... Reply to comment

Thank you for sharing your heart, Julie. This is a truth I need to be reminded of frequently these days! You are a blessing and I am thankful that God has begun to allow you to write again:)

Sharon@Keen Inspirations said... Reply to comment

Even in the "inviting Him in" we still want to give ourselves credit for having a part, don't we? I never truly realized that til I read this Julie. I'm glad you shared this!

maria said... Reply to comment

Absolutely beautiful Julie!

Laura said... Reply to comment

Such a beautiful truth, sweet friend. Thank God for grace. Love to you!

gloria said... Reply to comment

Had this discussion with Isaac just this week. He wanted to know "Now what are the words I need to say to have Jesus in my heart?' I had to explain to him that though he had taken that step; it wasn't the prayer that saved him. It was the work Jesus did for him on the cross. It is funny not once did Jesus say "Say this prayer" that is something that we made up along the way to make us feel better, give us a time point in our walk. He said "Believe!" May we really live as though we Believe in the transforming work He has done!
Thanks for sharing Julie...

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

How wonderful the grace of God is ... that He has extended to us the offer, the free gift of eternal life.

No struggle at all, yes just receive it, and the life begins to flow.

Yet there is a part where we work our our salvation in fear and trembling...

Work is involved, as Ephesians 2:10 syas, the works have been prepared for us to walk in.

The danger comes when the order is reversed.

Lovely post Julie. I have been missing your visits to my blog. Drop by sometime, friend.


Love
Lidj

Rambling Heather said... Reply to comment

Oh friend this is beautiful. I often have those head vs heart battles. I am inspired and encouraged by your words though always to see the grace, embrace the grace!

Amy said... Reply to comment

How beautiful!

It's been so exciting to watch how Jesus has set your heart free to live in His love!

Happy day in Jesus!
Amy

Katie said... Reply to comment

I LOVE how beautifully God is giving you the words to share these things!

Wanda said... Reply to comment

May you continue to walk in the light and liberty of the Truth. Blessings to you Julie.

Research Paper said... Reply to comment

Absolutely stunning words..
So true..